Shimla (Jan 3): Polling for the 48 urban local bodies in Himachal Pradesh ended peacefully, recording about 65% turnout as EVM were supposed to be sealed at 4 pm today. However, polling lasted till 5 to 6 pm as long queues of people were seen outside many polling stations in the state. According to reports arriving here, Solan district recorded 70% polling, Chamba 68%, Hamirpur 76%, Shimla 64%, Kangra 73%, Sirmour 80%, Una 79%, Mandi 70%, and Bilaspur 78.50%.
Votes were polled for 48 presidents, an equal number of vice-presidents and 406 ward members in 25 municipal bodies and 23 nagar panchayats (NP) in the state. It is for the first time that the presidents and vice-presidents are being elected directly and electronic voting machines (EVM) are being used in these elections. It is also for the first time that political parties have been allowed to field their official candidates in the ULB elections on their party symbols.
The counting of votes started soon after polling ended this evening and all results are likely to be declared by late night today. The whole election process would ended on January 6, 2011 and the code and conduct would remain enforced till that time.